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April 16, 2014

Official misconduct


Official misconduct
OATH Index Nos. 1679/13, 1680/13, 1681/13

Two job center directors and a deputy director were charged with improperly transferring cases from other job centers in order to increase their own center’s job placement statistics.

The employees admitted that they participated in the scheme but that they did so under pressure of meeting agency-wide goals. OATH Administrative Law Judge John B. Spooner found that the employees had violated agency rules.
Judge Spooner denied the employees’ motion to dismiss a portion of the charges as time-barred, finding respondents’ conduct fell within the crimes exception to the 18-month limitations period in §75 of the Civil Service Law, i.e, the employees had committed the crimes of official misconduct and computer tampering.

ALJ Spooner recommended dismissal of charges that respondents violated the Conflicts of Interest Law since there was no proof that they gained a private or personal advantage from the transfers.

As to the penalty to be imposed, the ALJ recommended termination of employees’ employment as their participation in the scheme for as long as three years “was an egregious violation of the trust placed in them as managers, as well as their fundamental responsibility as civil servants.”  

The decision is posted on the Internet at: 
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